When Nathan Shelton founded ARCANE, he set out to bring together a cabal of like-minded creatives who share a passion for all things dark, twisted, and mysterious.  Together, the artists of ARCANE create numerous stage, screen, live event, and audio productions as well as the design and fabrication of specialty makeup effects, masks, & props for industry and consumer applications.




DRACULA (2005 & 2008)

Produced by Arcane in partnership with SCT at the historic Vandivort Center Theatre in Springfield, MO.


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Nathan Shelton (Director/Producer/Designer) directed stage adaptations of Bram Stoker’s DRACULA on two separate occasions. (2005 & 2008)   On both occasions, Nathan was excited to bring the visceral and cenematic adaptation by playwright, Steven Dietz to life on the historic Vandivort Center Theatre stage.  The first production in 2005 marked the formation of Nathan’s first production company and his first professional stage directing opportunity.  That original production added an extra week to the run, due to ticket sales far exceeding expectations, with lines of ticket seekers flowing down four flights of stairs and out into the street.  His second staging was voted as “One of the best things in Springfield” by 417 Magazine in 2008 and helped earn him recognition that year as one of “Springfield’s Top 20 Under 30” as well as Q102 FM’s “People Who Rock” award.

EVIL DEAD: The Musical (2009)

In October 2009, Nathan (Director/ Producer/ Designer) was honored to be one of the first regional theatre directors of the newly licensed stage show, Evil Dead: The Musical at the historic Vandivort Center Theatre. The show was produced by Springfield Contemporary Theatre in partnership with Arcane, and featured gruesome special effects and makeup by Nathan and his team at Arcane. The show played for four weeks to sold-out audiences.


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In October 2012, Nathan Shelton (Writer/Director/Producer/Designer) adapted the classic cult film by George Romero into a comedy “play within a play” stage show.  The production featured multimedia video and audience participation and was wildly popular, playing to sold-out crowds for the entirety of its 4-week run.   This staging of the originally bleak source material is vastly different from other more faithful adaptations, and eventually led to the creation of The Frightmare Theatre Podcast years later.  


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A behind the scenes interview with the writer, director, producer, and designer of Night of the Living Dead: Live On Stage, Nathan Shelton.

Nick Dear’s FRANKENSTEIN (2019)

In October 2018, Nathan Shelton directed a wildly well-received stage adaptation of Mary Shelly’s classic novel.  This adaptation from writer, Nick Dear, was first produced by The National Theater in London and starred Benedict Cumberbatch and Jonny Lee Miller.  Nathan’s production was a regional premiere, presented with special permission from the author.   Nathan & the Arcane team designed the sets, practical effects, and special effects makeup for this production as well. Urgent concerns of scientific responsibility, parental neglect, cognitive development, and the nature of good and evil are embedded within this thrilling new adaptation of the gothic tale.  


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FRANKENSTEIN By Nick Dear From the novel by Mary Shelley
Directed by Nathan Shelton, Associate Directed by Adam Nolen
Featuring Sarah E. Campbell, Heath Hillhouse, John M. Johnson, Mindy Law, Makenah Marshall, Ryder Moore, Ron Seney, Finnley Shelton, Nathan Shelton*, L.J. Summers, Spencer Tilley, Bryant Turnage and Kyle Widmar ​
Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of Mary Shelley’s classic novel! ​ Childlike in his innocence but grotesque in form, Frankenstein’s bewildered Creature is cast out into a hostile universe by his horror-struck maker. Meeting with cruelty wherever he goes, the friendless Creature, increasingly desperate and vengeful, determines to track down his creator and strike a terrifying deal. Urgent concerns of scientific responsibility, parental neglect, cognitive development and the nature of good and evil are embedded within this thrilling and deeply disturbing classic gothic tale. Springfield Area Premiere.
*Mr. Shelton appears courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association on a Special Appearance Contract.
OCTOBER 19th through NOVEMBER 4th 2018